A dysfunctional political system

The recent dispute between Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Transport Minister Michalis Liapis – in which the latter condemned the former for failing to inform him of planned changes to public utilities (DEKO) – is just one indication of the current crisis that the government is facing. Distracted by the proliferation of scandals, politicians continue to say the wrong things and to abandon the fundamental work of politics, thus creating fertile ground for increasingly popular «television trials» to flourish. Unfortunately, in the wake of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s speech at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki in September, government cadres and many deputies appear to have stopped voicing their opinions on various issues and merely reinforce a dysfunctional system. This sort of behavior provokes upheaval and makes the government’s job even harder. But it also creates a more fundamental problem, by damaging the – already tarnished – credibility of the political arena. When politicians appear on television with the sole aim of promoting themselves, airing personal grievances or focusing on petty politics, then it is quite natural for the public’s mistrust to grow, as has been borne out by all recent opinion polls.

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